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‘Country Staring at an Unhealthy Future’

Country staring at an unhealthy future

Among health risks that obese kids face, cardiac arrhythmia is a danger that has been silently lurking around.

If your child is obese make sure that you educate yourself about cardiac arrhythmia, warn doctors who maintain that erratic beating of the heart — a major health risks that obese children face — is a danger that has been silently lurking around.

“Worse, not many people know about this,” said Dr. Vanita Arora, director and head, Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab and Arrhythmia Services; and senior consultant, cardiac electrophysiologist and interventional cardiologist, Max Super Speciality Hospital.

She adds that with 14.4 million obese children in India, of which 38% are children in the Capital, the country is staring at an unhealthy future.

Cardiac arrhythmias occur when heart beats too fast or too slow without any obvious reason. While fluttering of the heart once a while is not a reason for concern, frequent arrhythmias are a sign that not all is well with your heart and can prove to be fatal.

Parents should take note

“It’s all the more important for parents to take a note of children’s complaint of irregular heartbeats, as children are too young to understand if something is wrong with their heart,” says Dr. Arora.

“These erratic signals may also cause sudden cardiac arrest and prove to be fatal. A normal person has 60 to 100 heart beats per minute while resting; the heart beat increases when a person is engaged in any strenuous activity or is emotionally affected. However, an unhealthy, obese person may suffer from slow [bradycardia] and fast heartbeat [tachycardia], fluttering [fibrillation], or premature contraction. Obesity, diabetes, mental stress, and smoking are known cause of arrhythmias,” she added.

Some of the common symptoms of various forms of irregular heartbeats include, breathlessness, dizziness, fluttering in the chest palpitations, sweating, and confusion.

“There is an evident increase in patients complaining about irregular heartbeats, not necessarily they all are diagnosed with the better-known cardiac issues. It is difficult to identify the number of patients uniquely complaining of the same, but associated factors with those who have been complaining include being overweight and under heavy stress and hypertension,” said Dr. Aseem Dhall, senior cardiologist, Indian Spinal Injury Centre, Vasant Kunj.

“Around 10% of the patients attending our cardiac OPD constitutes patients with palpitations.It is important that those facing irregular palpitations or fluttering should consult a doctor immediately,” said Dr. Dhall.

“Cardiac arrhythmia is indeed a growing concern. Even healthy, young patients and obese patients who have no cardiac issues have come to us. There is significant indication of obesity and hypertension being associated with palpitations. Urban lifestyle, stress, and nutritional diet have definitely a role to play. The threat of unchecked arrhythmia causing cardiac arrest is real and there is need for increased awareness,” said Dr. Anil Dhall, director-Interventional cardiologist, Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka.

Story Credit: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/country-staring-at-an-unhealthy-future/article22452643.ece